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Full text of "Point au Pelee Island in Lake Erie, now the township of Pelee in Essex, Ontario; patented to the members of the McCormick family in 1867, incorporated"

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U O D Z Z 



POINT AIT PELEE ISLAND, 



IN LAKE ERIE ; 

NOW THE 

TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX, 

ONTARIO. 



PATENTED TO THE MEMBERS OP THE McCORMICK FAMILY, IN 1867 
INCORPORATED AS AN INDEPENDENT MUNICIPALITY IN 1868. 



THE LANDS ON" WHICH ARE NTOW OFFERED TO 
THE PUBLIC, FOR SALE, 

AT CHEAP RATES AND ON EASY TERMS OF PAYMENT. 



ARTHUR MONTGOMERY McCORMICK, Esq., 
WILLIAM CHARLES McCORMICK, 

Township Clerk. 

S. S. MACDONELL, Esq., Solicitor, 

Windsor, Ontario. 



TORONTO: 
W. C. CHEWETT & Co., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST. 
1 8 69. 



POINT A ll PELEE ISLAND, 



IN LAKE ERIE ; 

NOW TIIE 

TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX, 

ONTARIO. 



PATENTED TO THE MEMBERS OF THE McCORMICK FAMILY, IN 1867 
INCORPORATED AS AN INDEPENDENT MUNICIPALITY IN 1868. 



THE LANDS ON WHICH ARE NOW OFFERED TO 
THE PUBLIC, FOR SALE, 

AT CHEAP RATES AND ON EASY TERMS OF PAYMENT. 



ARTHUR MONTGOMERY McCORMICK, Esq., 

Reeve. 

WILLIAM CHARLES McCORMICK, 

Township Clerk. 

S. S. MACDONELL, Esq., Solicitor, 

Windsor, Ontario. 



TORONTO: 
W. C. CHEWETT & Co., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST. 
1 8 69. 



PRINTED AT THE STEAM PRESS ESTABLISHMENT OF W. C. CHEWETT & CO., 
KING STREET EAST, TORONTO. 



POINT AU PELEE ISLAND. 



NOW THE TOWNSHIP OF PELEE, IN ESSEX. 



SITUATION. 

The Island of Point au Pelee* is situated in latitude 41° 47* 
and longitude 81° 39', in Lake Erie. It is the most southern 
hind within the Dominion of Canada; 

Jutting, out from the main land of Essex into Lake Erie, 
almost due south, for about nine miles, is the Point au Pelee. 
Nearly opposite to this point, and distant about six miles from 
the extreme end of the point, is the island named after it. 

The island itself stretches its length of eight miles in the 
same southerly course, having an average width of three miles 
and a half. It is by far the largest of the group of islands that 
lie at the head of Lake Erie, between the mouth of the Detroit 
river and a line drawn from Point au Pelee* to Sandusky.. 
It is distant six miles from North Bas Island, seven from 
Kelley's, and ten from Middle Bas^and Put-in Bay Islands.. 
These other islands just named are American, and the most 
important of the Erie- Archipelago ; and generally designated 
and known to the public as the " Grape Islands of Lake Erie." 

From cities and towns on the main land of Ohio, Michigan 
and Canada, Pelee* Island is distant from Cleveland fifty-two 
miles, from Sandusky eighteen, from Toledo forty, from 
Detroit and Windsor fifty, and from Kingsville, the nearest 
port of entry in Essex, fourteen and a half miles. 



4 



The original tenure under which Pelee Island was held was 
an Indian donation, and is interesting as a matter of history. 

HISTORY. 

In the year 1783, two years before the cession of the western 
part of Canada to the British government by the Indians, the 
chiefs and sachems of the bands of the Chippawa and Ottawa 
Nations of Indians, then owning and inhabiting Point an 
Pelee' Island, executed and delivered to Capt. Thomas McKee, 
Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the West, and having 
considerable influence amongst the Indians by wliom lie was 
recognized as a chief, a lease of the island for 999 years, at a 
nominal rent. 

In 1823, Alexander, the son and heir-at-law of Captain 
Thomas McKee, by a deed of bargain and sale, conveyed the 
whole of the Island to William McCormick; and from that 
time William McCormick occupied the island as his own pro- 
perty, improving and building upon it, by himself and his 
tenants, up to the time of his death in 1840, bringing up and 
establishing on it a numerous family of eight sons and three 
daughters, to whom he devised the island in equal shares by 
his will. 

Of these eleven children — Charles died in 1844, a minor, 
unmarried and intestate ; Alexander, in 1854, intestate, leav- 
ing a widow and children ; John, in 1856, leaving children 
and intestate ; and Mary, in 1861, leaving a will devising her 
estate equally amongst her surviving brothers and sisters. 

In the year 1865, as the title of the McCormick's to the 
island under this Indian lease had been questioned, the surviv- 
ing members of the family of William McCormick petitioned 
the Government to have their title confirmed by a patent from 
the Crown. After a very careful examination into all the facts 
of the case, an order in Council was passed in 1866, directing 
that free patents should be issued to the representatives of 



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William McCormick, and in accordance with the provisions of 
Lis will ; and in June, 1867, tins order was carried into effect 
and patents issued for tlie wLole island. On being patented, 
tLe island came under tbe provisions of tlie municipal and 
assessment laws of tLe province, and for these purposes formed 
a portion of tLe township of Mersea, tLe greater portion of it 
being witLin tLe limits produced of that township. But as it 
was obviously inconvenient to have the local interests of an 
island, fifteen miles distant, entrusted to a municipal manage- 
ment on the main land, the legislature of Ontario passed an 
act, in March, 1868, erecting the island into the municipality 
of Pel ee*. And, having in view the peculiarity of its case as 
an island, the 26th section of the Municipal Institutions' Act, 
which provides for the withdrawal of towns from the juris- 
diction of county councils, was made applicable to the new 
municipality. 

TAXATION. 

Availing themselves of this provision in their charter, the 
inhabitants of Pelee immediately took the necessary proceed- 
ings for withdrawal ; and having come to an agreement with 
the County Council of Essex for the payment of a yearly con- 
tribution through five years, from January 1st, 1869, in lieu 
of all rates for county purposes, the proclamation of the Lieu- 
tenant Governor of Ontario was issued on December 23rd, 
1868, withdrawing Pelee from the jurisdiction of the County 
Council of Essex for five years. 

The local affairs of Pelee are thus entirely in the hands of 
its inhabitants, without the interference of others having dis- 
similar interests ; and without the risk of a varying or unfair 
taxation for county purposes, the whole rates being commuted 
at the sum of $110 annually through the period of five years, 
when another term will be again arranged for. As the local 
municipal government is and will be carried on with the least 
possible expense, it is safe to say that in no place within the 







^Dominion will local taxes be so inconsiderable and remain so 
low as in the township of Pelee\ 

CLIMATE. 

Not only because of its more southern latitude, but by reason 
t)f other influences, the climate of Pelee* is the most genial 
and the most favourable for the culture of fruit that we have 
within the Dominion. Placed mid-lake, the surrounding waters 
produce immunity from frosts, as well in the early spring as 
late in the autumn, protecting the blossoms in spring and 
ensuring the full maturity of the fruit in the fall. Its climate 
may be compared to that of Virginia. Frosts occur in Ken- 
tucky later in the spring and earlier in the autumn than they 
do in Point au Pelee Island. 

GRAPE CULTURE. 

What the island is most especially adapted for is the culture 
of the grape. For this it possesses advantages even beyond the 
other islands mentioned above, and distinguished by the name 
of " the Grape Islands." Its soil is more varied, deeper and 
richer. Besides it has an additional advantage in its area 
being so much larger than that of any one of the other islands, 
that it affords abundance of pasture land and land for the cul- 
tivation of necessary farm products and vegetables for a large 
population ; a point in which the other islands are deficient, 
owing to their limited area and the sameness of the soil and 
formation. The development of the grape culture on the 
islands of Lake Erie is very little known abroad, but it is as 
astonishing as the growth of any trade or branch of industry 
in the United States. About sixteen years ago it was com- 
menced on Kelley's Island, and now thousands of tons of grapes 
are annually exported from the islands, for sale throughout the 
country, in baskets and boxes ; and hundreds of thousands of 
gallons of wine annually manufactured. The most excellent 
of these wines, it is conceded, is the Catawba. A wine sai 
generis and already obtaining a place and name in some of the 



f 

Capitals of Europe. It has been abundantly proved tliat the 
Catawba comes to the greatest perfection on the islands of 
Lake Erie, perhaps from the circumstance that frosts never 
occur until long after the vintage. Whereas even at Cincin- 
nati frosts check and sometimes prevent the proper maturity 
of the berries and the full development of the liquor. What- 
ever may be the cause, it is certain that the wine makers of 
St. Louis and Cincinnati eagerly seek for the grapes raised on 
the islands to mix with their own in the manufacture of wine. 
There are of course a number of other kinds of grapes that 
have their advocates that are raised with advantage on these 
islands, as the Delaware, Concord, Ionia, Ive's Seedling and 
Norton's Virginia Seedling, and these two come to greater 
perfection than they can be brought to on the main land. 
Perhaps the rapid growth of the grape trade on the American 
islands is best illustrated in the increase in the price of land* 
In 1856, land could be purchased on any of the islands at $10 
per acre. At the present time, the same sort of land cannot 
be purchased at a less price than $400 per acre. 

CAUSE FOR THE ISLAND NOT BEING PEOPLED LONG AGO. 

Owing to the uncertainty attached to the tenure under which 
the Island of Pelee was held, no change of ownership took 
place from the members of the McCormick family until the 
year 1866. Neither could any of the McCormick family 
themselves feel safe in embarking in the enterprise of planting 
vineyards. But immediately upon the favorable reception of 
their memorial by the Government, several contracts of sale 
and purchase were entered into, and vineyards were com- 
menced. This year (1869) as many as sixty acres will be in 
full bearing. Messrs. Williams, Smith & Co., gentlemen from 
Kentucky, have a beautiful vineyard of thirty acres planted 
with the choicest varieties. Mr.Wardrope, a vineyard of eight 
acres. Mr. Huffman, one of two acres ; and several members 
of the McCormick family, vineyards, which taken together, 
would cover more than twenty acres. 



s 



It is now their desire to throw their lands into market and 
to offer to all who have the inclination of following the fascin- 
ating and profitable occupation of vigneures, an opportunity 
of carrying out their wishes, by selling suitable lands at 
moderate prices and on easy terms of payment. 

INDUCEMENTS FOR SETTLEMENT ON THE ISLAND. 

Those who desire to lead a quiet, peaceful life, in a healthful, 
delightful climate, economically, andv away from the fashion 
and extravagance of crowded cities, having the enjoyment of 
fishing, hunting, bathing and boating in their season, free from 
the burden of taxation, deriving an ample profit from pleasing 
labor, and yet, withal, within easy reach and immediate com- 
munication with the outside world, may be induced to settle 
on Point au Pelee* Island. 

Arrangements are already made for the through boats from 
Cleveland to Detroit to touch at the Island on their trips to 
and fro'. Besides these, a regular line of boats between the 
Island and mainland of Canada and the United States, will be 

established. 

Arrangements likewise are perfected for a submarine cable, 
passing from Kingsville to the Island, thus bringing the Island 
in direct and instant communication with the rest of the 
world. 

Negotiations are now going on for the establishment of three 
first class hotels, at different points on the Island, which will 
in all probability be put up during the summer. 

An Episcopal Church will be built, and arrangements made 
for the erection of a school house ; for the endowment of 
which one hundred acres of land have been left by the will of 
the late William McCormick. 

Application has been made for the establishment of a Post 
Office. 



And it may be mentioned in anticipation of the enquiry 
that there is a regularly licensed physician resident on the 
Island. 

Should there be any who might be attracted to the Island, 
not choosing to adopt the life of vigneures, for them a home 
and a livelihood may be obtained from other and different 
occupations. Splendid limestone quarries abound on the 
Island, timber and arable lands for the ordinary purposes of 
cultivation, that would well repay the efforts of any industrious 
man, bestowed upon them. And those pursuing the usual 
trades in life, would find ample demand for their labor.* 

It may be observed that according to the Government survey, 
the lots into which the Island is subdivided are not uniform 
either in size or shape, varying from lots of seven acres to lots 
of three hundred acres. 

But purchasers may acquire lands in any quantity they may 
desire from an acre to one hundred acres on any of the holdings 
of the Island. 

Commencing at the northern point of the Island, we shall 
give a brief description of the different holdings on the Island 
now offered for sale. 

First after the light-house reservation of twenty acres, viz : — 

1. The estate of Charles : — 

This estate is subdivided amongst the surviving brothers 
and sisters of Charles and the children of his deceased brothers 
Alexander and John, in lots or parcels of about thirty acres 
each. 



* The area of the Island is 11,000 acres. The whole Island under the will of 
the late William McCormick, was devised in equal shares amongst his eleven 
children. A few changes have taken place owing to deaths and other causes in 
the distribution of these shares. For the information of those who may feel 
disposed to entertain the project of settling on the Island, we will proceed to 
describe the different situations and qualities of the several estates on the Island 
— all of which may be considered in the market — with an approximation to the 
price per acre, at which lands may be purchased. 



10 



Nearly the whole of this estate is cleared and improved. 
All of it is adapted to the cultivation of the grape. The land 
is well situated on North Bay, capable of good drainage, and 
has extensive and valuable quarries on it. There is a wharf 
built opposite to Lot 15 on this estate ; and there is a good 
vineyard of six acres on Lot 15. 

The lots comprised in this estate are those numbered on the 
map from 2 to 17 inclusive, and also Lot 20. 

Lands on this estate may be purchased at from $50 to $100 
per acre according to condition and situation. 

2. Belonging to the estate of Mary. 

Lot 18, containing fifty-two acres, having on it a well built 
stone house, finished inside with black walnut. 

Lot 19, containing twenty acres, having on it a two story 
frame house. 

Land on these lots is held at $100 per acre. The buildings 
would be estimated at a reasonable valuation, in a purchase of 
the lots on which they stand. 

At the north-west point of North Bay is the estate of 
Thomas Cornwall. 

It comprises 412 acres, and consists of Lots 20, 21, 22 
and 23. 

Out of this estate has been sold forty acres to Messrs. 
Williams and Smith : thirty of which have been put in grapes 
of the finest varieties, and on which they have constructed a 
very large and expensive cellar for storing wine, as well as a 
fine dwelling of stone. 

The price given for this parcel of forty acres, by Mr. 
"Williams, was $100 per acre. 

John Stuart, Esquire, of Ottawa, lias purchased Lot 22, 
containing ten acres, at $100 per acre. 



•ll 



Sheriff McEwan, of Sandwich, has bought five acres, being 
part of Lot 20, at the same price per acre. 

And Angus Huffman, part of Lot 23, containing ten acres, 
at the same price. Mr. Huffman has planted two acres in 
vines which are now in full bearing. 

Thomas C. McCormick, the proprietor, has also two acres 
in grapes. 

This estate contains valuable quarries coming to the water's 
edge of a good harbor called North Bay. It has a good wharf 
built for a steamboat landing. The land is beautifully rolling 
with fine groves of trees, and all of it fit for grape culture. 

4. The estate of William lies on the west side of the Island. 
It consists of a block of 300 acres of land, numbered in the 
map as Lot 24. 

The land on this estate is composed of very rich deep soil. 
Twelve acres and a half have been sold to Mr. Wardroper, at 
$100 per acre ; on which he has planted nine acres of grapes. 
William McCormick himself has four acres of grapes. 

There are eighty or ninety acres of cleared land in the block, 
w T ith .good barns, outhouses, orchards, &c. There is an ex- 
cellent stone quarry on this block. The cleared land in this 
estate would be held at the same rate as the purchase of Mr. 
Wardroper, but the uncleared land may be obtained at a lower 
price. 

Lot 26, containing sixty-one acres, and situated below Arthur 
McCormick's block, may be mentioned here as belonging to 
William McCormick. It consists of excellent land, and will 
be sold at reasonable rates as wild land. 

Lot 49, containing thirty-five acres of wild land, also belongs 
to William. 

5. The estate of Arthur Montgomery lies on the west side of 
the island next to William's. It contains 300 acres, and is 
numbered 25 on the map. There are about 90 acres of cleared 



12* 



land on this estate, with dwelling house, orchards, &c. There 
is a vineyard of about five acres on it. An excellent wharf 
for a steamboat landing has been built near Arthur's house. 
There is 'also a good stone quarry in this block. Land on this 
estate would be held at the same rate as is that on the adjoin- 
ing one of William. Number 50, a lot of 102 acres of wild 
land, in the second range from the west side of the island, also 
belongs to Arthur, is of a good quality, and would be sold at a 
lower rate per acre than land on the front. 

6. The estate of Lucinda Elizabeth, as the assignee of David, 
consists of what is known as the Knoll farm. It is numbered 
as 29 on the map, and contains 300 acres. It lies along the 
west side of the island. Every acre of it is rich, excellent land, 
and of the best quality for grape culture. It slopes well from 
the rear towards the front on the lake, and affords admirable 
facilities for drainage. 

There are no quarries on this tract ; only ten acres of it are 
cleared, the rest being covered with a beautiful growth of wood 
of different sorts ; and valuable land may be purchased on this 
tract in any quantity for vineyards, and at prices from $50 to 
$100, according to situation. 

Lots numbered 46, 47 and 48, containing 102 acres, lie at 
the rear of the Knoll farm, in woods, containing good land, 
and may be bought at cheap rates. 

7. The estate of Peregrine lies at the southern point of the 
island, and extends across it, comprising lots 30, 68, 69 and 70. 

Lot 30 is a farm block of 300 acres. It is a good farm, 
although not so elevated as lot 29, just mentioned. None of 
this block is sold, but it is in the market, as the rest. About 
100 acres are cleared. There are large farm buildings on the 
property. Lands on this block may be purchased at from $50 
to $100 per acre. 

Lot 70 is composed of the Sand Point, part of which has 
been sold recently at $50 per acre. 



.13 



Lot 27, containing sixty-one acres, on the west side of the 
island, on the front, and adjacent to the Knoll farm, belongs 
to Peregrine, is excellent land, and for sale as wild land. 

Also Lot 31, containing sixty-two acres, and situated in the 
second range of lots. It is also wild land, and may be pur- 
chased cheaper than lands on the front. 

8. The estate of Lucinda (in her own right) lies at the south 
east point of the island. It consists of lot 34, containing 161 
acres, and lot 55, containing 138 acres. All of this estate is 
composed of good soil. About 70~acres of this is cleared. The 
location is good, fronting to the south. There are three acres 
already planted in grapes. Land may be purchased at cheap 
rates. 

Lot 33, containing 102 acres, and being wild land, also 
belongs to Lucinda and is for sale. 

9. The estate of John (which is divided amongst his five chil- 
dren, who are now of age) consists of lots 35, 30, 37, 38 and 
39, and Lots 43, 44, 51, 52 and 53, which are interior lots, and 
are in wood, containing altogether 402 acres. 

There is built on this property a fine wharf, running out 
into the lake 700 feet, and suitable for the large class steam- 
boats to touch at. It is in contemplation to erect a large first 
class hotel at this place. There are about 100 acres cleared on 
this property. Any portion of it may be purchased at mode- 
rate rates. 

10. The estate of Alexander consists of Lots 41, 42, 43 and 
54, and contains 402 acres. This estate is at present not in the 
market, the heirs of Alexander not being yet of age. 

11. The estate of Sarah Ann consists of Lot 56, contain- 
ing 313 acres, and constitutes the southerly portion of Middle 
Island. This lot is admirably adapted for a grazing farm, 
and has remaining on it a considerable quantity of valu- 
able cedar. 



14 



Lot 32, containing 91 acres of wild land (also belonging to 
Sarah Ann), being in the second range of lots from the front, 
may be purchased at cheap rates. 

12. The estate of Mary : 

The body of lands forming the share of Mary, consisting ot 
Lot 57, containing 313 acres, and forms the northern portion 
of Middle Island ; being of the same character as the southerly 
part, and is adapted for grazing and general farming pur- 
poses, and has considerable cedar remaining on it. As this 
estate is to be sold under the directions of Mary's will, land 
may be purchased here at cheap rates. 



The Proprietors of the lands which are thus briefly described 
are all resident on the island. But any further information 
that may be desired by parties who may think of settling on 
the island will be furnished on application to Capt. David Mc- 
Cormick, Kingsville, P. O., Essex; or to S. S. Macdonell, Esq., 
Windsor ; or to Alex. Wilkinson, Provincial Land Surveyor, 
at Sandwich ; or to Dr. F. B. McCormick, at Pelee* Island. 

A copy of this pamphlet will be sent, gratis, to any person 
who may make application for it by letter, enclosing postage 
stamp, to any of the above named gentlemen. 



W. C. CHEWETT & CO., PRINTERS, KING STREET EAST, TORONTO.